One of the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch features that Apple demoed during the iPhone 14 event a few weeks ago is called Crash Detection. The new devices have advanced algorithms that take into account various parameters for determining if a person has been in a car crash. If that’s the case, the iPhone 14 or Apple Watch will call first responders on its own.
That’s what happened with what has been described as the “worst crash in Lincoln in recent memory”. A passenger’s iPhone 14 detected the horrific crash after the vehicle hit a tree early on Sunday in Nebraska. All six occupants died tragically from injuries sustained in the crash.
iPhone 14 Crash Detection activates in fatal crash
According to Associated Press, five men in a Honda Accord died at the crash scene around 2:15 AM. A 24-year-old woman died later at the hospital, where she arrived in critical condition.
She made it to the hospital in the first place thanks to an iPhone 14 in the car, which detected the accident and called for help.
Police told AP that the iPhone detected the impact and called emergency services automatically after the phone’s owner did not intervene. The iPhone 14’s Crash Detection feature will run a countdown timer before calling rescuers when the device detects an accident. The owner can choose to let the phone call 911 or abort the alert if they’re okay.
“This is the worst crash in Lincoln in recent memory,” Lincoln Police Assistant Chief Michon Morrow told AP. “We’ve been trying to think of another accident this bad and we haven’t come up with anything.”
It’s unclear what caused the accident at this time, with authorities still investigating.
“The cause of this accident is going to take us some time to pin down,” Morrow said. “We are looking at all possibilities, including alcohol, speed, or distracted driving.”
The Crash Detection simulations
This is the first report of an iPhone 14 making use of the Crash Detection feature in a real-life scenario. Sadly, the impact was too brutal for any victims to survive.
For example, Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern arranged one of those tests using a demolition derby car in a junkyard. However, the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch did not detect all crashes in this simulation.
Apple explained there might be factors that can influence the algorithm. Like a missing Bluetooth connection or the lack of GPS data proving the cars were on a road. Also, a relatively short drive distance might have impacted the iPhone’s ability to detect a crash.
Separately, the iPhone’s Settings app informs users that the Crash Detection feature will not detect all crashes.
How to enable Crash Detection on iPhone 14
In the case of the Lincoln accident, the accident was so severe that the iPhone 14’s Crash Detection feature kicked in.
You can enable the feature on iPhone in the Emergency SOS menu of the Settings app if it’s not on by default. But new devices come with Crash Detection enabled.
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